Elsa Lopez Colunga passed away April 1, 2020, in New Braunfels. She was born on March 15, 1933, in Charlotte. She is preceded in death by her parents, Lilia Gutierrez Lopez; and Santos Lopez; her grandparents, Pedro and Aurora Gutierrez, and her granddaughter, Jennifer Rose Mills. Elsa married Rogelio Guadalupe Colunga on December 22, 1950, and they began a life of adventure as a military family. Rogelio and Elsa celebrated 69 years of marriage in December 2019 with a greeting from President Donald J. Trump. The marriage produced three children. She will forever be “Mamo” to her 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Elsa is survived by her loving husband, Rogelio; her devoted brother, Steve Lopez and his wife Sofia; and her pride, her loving children and families: Ronald R. Colunga and his wife Norma with six children and 13 grandchildren; her daughter, Deborah J. Rayburn and her husband Dave with three children and one grandchild; and her daughter Marsha A. Smith and her husband Daniel Randall with four children and one grandchild.

Elsa was an enthusiastic and vivacious woman. Once asked about her legacy, she responded, “I want to leave a dent in the world, loving one man and raising my three children.” She had a wicked sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was always up for a joke or a prank on a coworker, friend or family. She had a lifelong passion for sports which began as a young girl. She was a shark at playing marbles. Her competitive spirit continued into her high school years where she pitched for the Devine Warhorses’ girls’ softball team. One fateful game night, there was no umpire available. Then a young man from Hondo came forward and volunteered. His name was “Rogelio,” and the rest became a lifelong adventure of love and growth for them both. Her sporting spirit continued as she learned to golf and her ultimate passion, bowling. She also loved dancing with Roger. Finally, she would not tolerate a negative word about the Dallas Cowboys or San Antonio Spurs!

She was a young bride. She began her married life at 17, so she was really a basic cook, her saving grace was her hobby of baking. Her breads, cookies and cakes delighted family and friends which more than made up for her basic cooking skills. She grew into a fashion plate equal to Jackie O! She also grew to love entertaining. She enjoyed throwing parties for herself and Rogelio and her children. In her travels with Roger, she charmed people from Japan to Germany and all points in between.

Elsa was a dedicated caregiver. She practiced the art of nursing for over 50 years. When she ended her “working” career, Elsa continued to provide care and comfort to women and children in need. She volunteered on the board of directors of the Atascosa County women’s shelter for battered women. Her heart grew with each mission with Austin Smiles. She traveled with a team of doctors and nurses to Mexico, Central and South America and Cuba to provide cleft lip and palate surgeries to babies, young children and even some adults.

Services for Rogelio and Elsa Colunga will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 108 S. Washington Dr, Devine, TX 78016, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 22. Due to the COVID restrictions, there will be a private interment at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX. Please remember to be safe at these services and we ask that you all wear masks and practice social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, the Colungas ask for donations in Elsa’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association or Austin Smiles.

Finally, during this time of uncertainty because of COVID-19, we know Elsa’s message for everyone is to stay safe and with God’s grace we will come through this challenge.

For further information, please feel free to contact Marsha Smith at (214) 729- 4030, 3328 Brockway, Farmers Branch, TX 75234 or marsha.smith@gmail.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hurley Funeral Home, 303 W. College Ave., Devine, TX 78016, (830) 663-4445.

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